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The neural basis of hot and cold cognition in depressed patients, unaffected relatives, and low -risk healthy controls: An fMRI investigation

Nord, CL; Halahakoon, DC; Lally, N; Limbachya, T; Pilling, S; Roiser, JP; (2020) The neural basis of hot and cold cognition in depressed patients, unaffected relatives, and low -risk healthy controls: An fMRI investigation. Journal of Affective Disorders , 274 pp. 389-398. 10.1016/j.jad.2020.05.022. Green open access

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Modern cognitive neuropsychological models of depression posit that negatively biased emotional (“hot”) processing confers risk for depression, while preserved executive function (“cold”) cognition promotes resilience. METHODS: We compared neural responses during hot and cold cognitive tasks in 99 individuals: those at familial risk for depression (N = 30 unaffected first-degree relatives of depressed individuals) and those currently experiencing a major depressive episode (N = 39 unmedicated depressed patients) with low-risk healthy controls (N = 30). Primary analyses assessed neural activation on two functional magnetic resonance imaging tasks previously associated with depression: dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) responsivity during the n-back working memory task; and amygdala and subgenual anterior cingulate cortex (sgACC) responsivity during incidental emotional face processing. RESULTS: Depressed patients exhibited significantly attenuated working memory-related DLPFC activation, compared to low-risk controls and unaffected relatives; unaffected relatives did not differ from low-risk controls. We did not observe a complementary pattern during emotion processing. However, we found preliminary support that greater DLPFC activation was associated with lower amygdala response during emotion processing. LIMITATIONS: These findings require confirmation in a longitudinal study to observe each individual's risk of developing depression; without this, we cannot identify the true risk level of the first-degree relative or low-risk control group. CONCLUSIONS: These findings have implications for understanding the neural mechanisms of risk and resilience in depression: they are consistent with the suggestion that preserved executive function might confer resilience to developing depression in first-degree relatives of depressed patients.

Type: Article
Title: The neural basis of hot and cold cognition in depressed patients, unaffected relatives, and low -risk healthy controls: An fMRI investigation
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.jad.2020.05.022
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2020.05.022
Language: English
Additional information: © 2020 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Keywords: Depression, DLPFC, Amygdala, Working memory, Emotion processing
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Clinical, Edu and Hlth Psychology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10106710
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